I am not concerned to know

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General information

This is a poem by Isaac Watts, from Horae Lyricae, entitled True Riches. Most lines have seven syllables, but the stanzas as printed are of irregular length.

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Text and translations

English.png English text

I am not concerned to know
What tomorrow fate will do:
Tis enough that I can say
I've possess'd myself today:
Then, if haply midnight-death
Seize my flesh and stop my breath,
Yet tomorrow I shall be
Heir to the best part of me.

Glittering stones, and golden things,
Wealth and honors that have wings,
Ever fluttering to be gone,
I could never call my own.
Riches that the world bestows,
She can take and I can lose;
But the treasures that are mine
Lie afar beyond her line.
When I view my spacious soul,
And survey myself a-whole,
And enjoy my self alone,
I'm a kingdom of my own.

I've a mighty part within,
That the world hath never seen;
Rich as Eden's happy ground,
And with choicer plenty crowned.
Here, on all the shining boughs,
Knowledge fair and useless grows;
On the same young flowery tree
All the seasons you may fee:
Notions, in the bloom of light,
Just disclosing to the fight.
Here are thoughts of larger growth,
Ripening into solid truth;
Fruits refined, of noble taste:
Seraphs feed on such repast.

Here, in a green and shady grove,
Streams of pleasure mix with love:
There, beneath the smiling skies,
Hills of contemplation rife;
Now upon some shining top
Angels light, and call me up;
I rejoice to raise my feet;
Both rejoice when there we meet.

There are endless beauties more
Earth hath no resemblance for;
Nothing like them round the pole;
Nothing can describe the soul:
'Tis a region half unknown,
That has treasures of its own ;
More remote from public view
Than the bowels of Peru.
Broader 'tis, and brighter far,
Than the golden Indies are.
Ships that trace the watery stage
Cannot coast it in an age;
Harts or horses, strong and fleet,
Had they wings to help their feet,
Could not run it half way o'er
In ten thousand days, or more.

Yet the silly wandering mind
Loath to be too much confined,
Roves and takes her daily tours,
Coasting round the narrow shores;
Narrow shores of flesh and sense,
Picking shells and pebbles thence:
Or she sits at fancy's door,
Calling shapes and shadows to her;
Foreign visits still receiving,
And to herself a stranger living:
Never, never, would she buy
Indian dust or Tyrian dye;
Never trade abroad for more,
If she saw her native store:
If her inward worth were known,
She might ever live alone.

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